To stockpile or take stock of myself – I’m caught between the two. There’s no doubt about it, people are stockpiling, (interesting to read this in the Irish Times, re my fellow Irish men and women here in Milan) but is there actually a need? From what I see, everytime I go to the supermarket there is absolutely no need. However, sometimes I drop into worry mode.
For example, what if, in a couple of weeks, there’s no trains, planes or trucks entering Italy? I heard someone talking about it yesterday and it touched my worry nerve.
So today I went to Carrefour, my closest supermarket. I usually go to Esse Lunga, but it’s further away and as I’m not using public transport these days, I thought I wouldn’t be able to walk back with the huge stockpile I’d planned on.
Everything was the same as usual bar empty shelves where the good quality pasta is usually found, tinned tomatoes and tomatoe paste were also in low supply as well as things like breakfast croissants, sliced white bread and long life milk. As for “l’Amuchina” (hand disinfectant) – not a whiff of it to be had, although I did get a giggle out of this video – a take on the song Ciao Bella, Ciao Bella, Ciao, Ciao, Ciao – it’s ciao bella to the Coronavirus with “l’Amuchina” but it costs the same price as an iPhone. Other than these, all was normal, just a bit quiet to be a regular day.
By the time I’d finshed aimlessly walking around, picking up things I’d never usually buy (tea for a flat stomach – that’ll keep me going if there’s a famine, olive and almond paste likewise) the sense of anxiety I’d had about starving to death in Milan had completely subsided and my stockpile came to 13.08 euro.
Mayor of Milan, Beppe Sala, has the right idea. I love this clip he posted earlier today on Instagram plugging Milan. Hashtags #milanononsiferma (“milan’s not stopping”) and #forzamilano (“go Milan” or “power to Milan”) are the way forward. Meanwhile, everyone’s dealing with the situation in their own individual way. I’m trying to roll with it, stay practical, rational, stiff upper lip, but once in a while it gets the better of me – this calls for a bit of the old Wim Hof method I think. Here’s some insight into how friends currently feel:
J (English, based in Milan): It’s no big deal, everyone’s probably gonna get it and get over it, just look after yourself and eat well.
N (Italian, based in Milan): This is serious, stay calm, be patient, everyone must do what they feel is best; better if you don’t go out.
I (Belarusian, based in Milan): These things happens, I’m out and about.
C (Italian, based in Milan): Call me when it’s all over.
E (Italian, based in Turin): It’s a cover up job for something bigger; the martians have landed.
Local Rabbi (Italian, based in Milan): Moral of the story – keep kosher.